If you have an interest in building things from wood or working in construction, you may have the right qualities of a carpenter. Why not consider this profession?
The construction is among one of the largest businesses in the country. This business is continuously booming and with it, contractors often require trained carpenters like you.
However, most employers require candidates to have formal education. One of the options you can take is by enrolling in a short course or degree offered by carpentry schools in Alabama, (see below).
The formal training to become a carpenter can be taken at a technical school, community college or in university. The training can be extremely helpful especially when you are still starting the trade.
If you are looking for a carpentry school where you can take a course, here are what you can find in Alabama:
- Central Alabama Carpenters and Millwrights Training Center
Serving Local 318 and Local 1192
100 Commerce Drive, Pelham, AL 35124
Phone: (205) 685-9031; Fax: (205) 685-9033
- Alabama Home Builders Foundation
P.O. Box 241305, Montgomery, AL 36124-1305
Phone: 1-800-745-4222 / 334-834-3006; Fax: 334-834-5380
Offers 8-week free adult carpentry course in Montgomery, for more info keep in touch with them
- Construction Education Foundation of Alabama (CEFA)
PO Box 130220, Birmingham, AL 35213
205-956-0146 Phone; 205-956-0149 Fax
- Alabama Workforce Training Center (with AIDT)
Montgomery, Alabama 36116-3200
Main Phone: 205-719-3220; Fax: 205-327-7371
- Alabama Workforce Training Center
3500 6th Avenue South, Birmingham AL 35222
Offers job assistance to students after completing the course
- Montgomery Public Schools
307 S. Decatur Street, Montgomery, Alabama 36104
P.O. Box 1991 Montgomery, AL 36102-1991
Phone: (334) 223-6700;Fax: (334) 223-6701
- North Alabama Carpenters and Millwrights Training Center
Serving Local 1209 and Local 1192
4300 Helton Drive, Florence, AL 35630
Phone: (256) 760-3197; Fax: (256) 760-3198
Gadsden State Community College - Wallace Drive Campus
1001 George Wallace Dr, Gadsden, AL 35903
Phone: (256) 549-8200
The program length 1 year
- Lawson State Community College
Birmingham Campus: 3060 Wilson Road, SW Birmingham, AL 35221
Phone: 205.925.2515; Fax: 205.925.3716
Bessemer Campus: 1100 Ninth Avenue SW Bessemer, AL 35022
Phone: 205.925.2515; Fax: 205.424.5119
- Wallace Community College
Wallace Campus - 1141 Wallace Drive, Dothan, AL 36303
Phone:(334) 983-3521; Fax: (334) 983-6066
Sparks Campus - 3235 South Eufaula Avenue, Eufaula, AL 36027
Phone:(334) 687-3543; Fax: (334) 687-0255
- Bishop State Community College Main Campus
51 N Broad St, Mobile, AL 36603
Phone: 251-405-7000; Office: 251-405-7000; Toll: 1-800-523-7235
- Ingram State Technical College
Student & Support Services
P.O. Box 220350, Deatsville, AL 36022-0350
Phone: (334) 285-5177; Fax: (334) 285-3829
- John C Calhoun State Community College
Decatur - (256) 306-2500
6250 Hwy. 31 North Tanner, AL, 35671
Huntsville - (256) 890-4700
102 Wynn Dr NW Huntsville, AL, 35805
- Jefferson State Community College
4600 Valley dale Rd, Birmingham, AL 35242
Call operator: (205) 853-1200
Offers full scholarship in Basic Carpentry Course through Alabama General Contractors Association
For more info about scholarship, call: (205) 451-1400
- Alabama A&M University
P. O. Box 1027 (303 Patton Hall), Normal, AL 35762-1027
(256) 372-5654; (256) 372-5034 (Fax)
- Trenholm State Technical College
1225 Air Base Blvd, Montgomery, Alabama 36108
Call: 1-866-753-4544; 334-420-4200
- Shelby County College and Career Center
701 Highway 70, Columbiana, AL 35051
Offers carpentry training for free once in a while, to make an inquiry about future events,
contact: 205-682-6650 Office; 205-682-6655 Fax
- Shelton State Carpentry
Martin Campus - 9500 Old Greensboro Rd, Tuscaloosa, AL 35405, 205.391.2211
C.A. Fredd Campus - 3401 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401, 205.391.2611|
Demopolis Higher Ed Center - 186 Field of Dreams Drive, Gallion, AL 36742, 205.391.5881
- Northeast Alabama Community College
138 AL Hwy 35, Rainsville, Alabama 35986, P.O. Box 159
Phone 256-638-4418 or 256-228-6001
Offers carpentry as a short-term non-training program
Associated Builders and Contractors Inc.
through North Alabama Craft Training Foundation (NACTF), Training is conducted in several locations in North Alabama
To register, call (256) 355-1168
North Baldwin Center for Technology
505 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Bay Minette Alabama
Phone: 1.800.745.4222; Fax: (334).834.5380
Offers basic residential carpentry program for free, to know the upcoming schedule, make an inquiry
- Northwest-Shoals Community College
800 George Wallace Blvd., Muscle Shoals, AL 35661
2080 College Road, Phil Campbell, AL 35581
In this school, carpentry is being offered as an Associate in Occupational Technology, as a career certificate and as a short-term certificate
For woodworking classes, here are the schools you can enroll at
- Alabama Woodworkers Guild, Inc.
Woodworking Education Center
10544 Highway 17, Maylene, AL 35114
You must be a guild member to be able to enroll in a class
- Lowemill Arts and Entertainment
2211 Seminole Dr. Huntsville, Alabama 35805
- Black Warrior Wood Turning School
4509 Woodland Hills Dr. Tuscaloosa, Al 35405
Phone: (205) 553-6977
- Southern Union State Community College
1701 Lafayette Parkway
Opelika, AL 36801
Phone: (334) 745-6437
Criteria in Choosing Carpentry School
How do you choose a training school that addresses your needs? How can you separate the wheat from the chaff in terms of quality education? Here are some of the criteria you can keep in mind:
- A low student-teacher ratio in the class – a lower student-teacher ratio means you get the attention you need to thoroughly understand the training. With a low number of students taking the class, the professor will be able to focus on each of the students. If you are considering taking carpentry training, find a class with such.
- Offers financial assistance and support – getting an education involves spending some amount. Taking carpentry training could cost you thousands of dollars. To defray the expenses, you may avail of the school’s scholarship program. Choose the school that provides such financial aid. Another form of financial support from the government is a grant and if you are an Alabama resident, you can benefit from the Alabama Student Grant Program. For more info about the grant, click here.
- Gives job placement assistance – though not all school gives such assistance, there are some that provide such. It is a great way of finding a job after graduating from the course. You don’t have to spend time and effort looking for a job as it is a daunting task. With the school’s network of hiring employers, they can easily place you for a job.
- Offers tuition discount – Many colleges and schools offer a tuition discount to the local resident, if you could find a college that gives such a discount it could significantly help to pay for the tuition. Other schools give students loans to pay for the cost of training.
- With a comprehensive curriculum – before you enroll in the carpentry training, you may have to look at the course they offer. As a beginner, you may have to ensure the school has a solid background in carpentry training. You can do it so by inquiring with them how many graduates they have produced already.
- With a modern training facility – after you have significantly reduced your options to just a few numbers of schools, you can personally pay a visit to their facility. Observe how modern their facilities are and how the class is being conducted. Doing so, you can have a sneak peek of what is going to happen if you become a student of theirs. Just be sure you like the place.
How to Take the Carpentry Training
The first thing that may come up in your mind toward achieving your goal of becoming a carpenter is to enroll in a class.
Many technical schools and community colleges in Alabama (see above) offer a short degree in carpentry that usually last 2 years. If you aspire to become a carpenter, getting enrolled in a program offered by a school is the best way to go.
The program is usually composed of classroom lectures, and hands-on in workshops. At the end of the course, you will receive your certificate, proving that you’ve completed the program.
Individuals who are graduates of such programs usually enjoy better employability as hiring managers prefer to hire those job candidates with such education.
Alternatively, working as a trainee with a contractor or construction firm will allow you to earn hands-on skills and experience that will prepare you for the actual job. If you’ve completed high school education, you can apply for an apprenticeship program, see below where. Being an apprentice takes about to four (4) years to complete such training. It is your best opportunity to learn while you work for a company.
Enrollment Requirements You Need
- You must have a high school Diploma or GED certificate
- Physically able to do the work
- You must be at least 18 years old
- Must be a US citizen or show proof of legal residency
- Must be able to pass the substance abuse test
The requirements you have to meet will depend on the carpentry school where you want to take the course.
How Much Would It Cost You to Attend Carpentry Training Course?
The typical cost of completing a carpentry certificate could set you back $3,000 to $10,000 depending on the school and can be completed in a year.
In addition to the training costs, you may have to spend an average of $1,500 for training materials such as books and supplies.
The cost will also depend on whether you want to take a certificate, complete a degree, or associate.
Please do bear in mind if you enrolling in a course, the costs above are just rough estimates. You can reduce how much you will spend by availing the financial aid or support being given by the school. Inquire with the school about how you can be eligible for such support.
Taking the Construction Carpentry Apprenticeship Program
Taking the apprenticeship program usually last 1 to 4 years that will give you the formal education and the on-the-job aspect of the trade. You will learn the techniques and practical skills needed to become a trained carpenter. Being an apprentice is the best path to take when learning the trade while earning an income. You will get paid with entry-level trainee salary.
The good news now is that Alabama has now a state-focused program for those who want to be an apprentice – only a few trades are covered and one of those is carpentry/construction.
With the official launching of the Apprenticeship Alabama, you can expect now expect technical support and assistance by getting into its Registered Apprenticeship (RA) program. You can receive a progressive salary and practical training experience. Completing the program will earn you qualifications for better wage prospects.
To apply for such a program, contact: USDOL Office of Apprenticeship, Michael J. Nelson, Apprenticeship & Training Representative, Medical Forum Building, 950 22nd Street North, Room 648, Birmingham, Alabama 35203, Tel: (601) 291-6860, to make an inquiry.
If you are switching jobs or looking for another career as a carpenter, the Registered Apprenticeship (RA) can help you earn the experience by becoming an apprentice in order to boost your chance of improving employability.
Completing an apprenticeship can lead to a journeyman level thus increasing your qualification and pay.
Salary of Carpenter Working in Alabama
According to the latest report of Salary.com, the average annual salary of carpenters who are in the state of Alabama is $56,711 but the range is between $49,008 and $65,666 according to the latest July 25, 2023 report of Salary.com. If you will work in the neighboring state of Georgia, the salary is much higher.
There's a deviation with the salary due to some factors such as the experience you've spent in the field as a carpenter, the city or town of AL where you are working, the skills and qualifications that you can apply for the job and the certification you've gained doing this occupation.
To Conclude This
Although there are no strict requirements in order to get a job as a carpenter, formal training in addition to on-the-job experience can greatly enhance your employability.
If you would like to get into this career, the first step is to take is to get enrolled in a training course that is being offered by a carpentry school in Alabama. The school will supply you with the best knowledge and preparation to become a trained tradesman.
The school will also give you a good grasp of the fundamentals of carpentry and aims to familiarize you with the tools and techniques of the trade.
Contacting the Authorities
Alabama Department of Commerce
1 Technology Court, Montgomery, Alabama 36116
Phone: (334) 280-4440 | Fax: (334) 242-0299; Toll: 800.248.0033
Alabama Department of Labor
(334) 242-8616; (334) 353-1548
HQ is in Montgomery
Cities and Towns of AL
Opelika, Ozark, Pelham, Pell City, Phenix City, Hueytown, Irondale, Jacksonville, Gadsden, Greenville, Hartselle, Helena, Jasper, Fairfield, Florence, Fort Payne, Mountain Brook, Leeds, Lincoln, Millbrook, Monroeville, Montevallo, Tuscaloosa, Hoover, , Albertville, Pleasant Grove, Sheffield, Southside, Muscle Shoals, Northport, Oneonta, Anniston, Atmore, Bay Minette, Daphne, Alexander City, Alabaster, Homewood, Enterprise, Eufaula, Gardendale, Sylacauga, Talladega, Troy, Trussville, Tuskegee, Vestavia Hills, Wetumpka, Hoover, Huntsville, Bessemer, Boaz, Chelsea, Cullman, Prattville, Prichard, Rainbow City, Saraland, Dothan, Auburn, Gadsden , Ashville, Scottsboro, Selma,